A Funny Story Whilst Preparing for the Drawing

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in block lotto community | 13 comments

While I am waiting for the clock to tick down to our deadline today, I thought I’d share some of the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head.

At the beginning of this month, I planned to blog about just how much I appreciate all of you and your willingness to make whatever block I choose for you each month.  This experience is a stark contrast to what happens in my guild whenever I suggest almost anything–they are a group of wildly diverse and talented quilters, but … they are so entrenched in doing everything the way they have always done it, even as the guild continues to fail financially and in membership numbers.  As much as I know some of them like my quilts and my ideas–they continue to walk in lock-step with the quilters at the top of that well-defined social pyramid.  Last month I was involved in starting up a Santa Fe Chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild (I am an individual member of MQG) and some of the modern quilters from the established guild came to an organization meeting just to talk me out of it … because they are happy with the way things are or they would like to be involved but are afraid of offending the powers-that-be at the guild.

That is the context of my quilting life in Santa Fe and why I appreciate you all so much. Whatever theme I choose for us–liberated/improv blocks, modern(ish) blocks, small traditional blocks, rectangular blocks, or a happy mix of blocks that may or may not relate to one another at all–you have been willing to try making them … apparently up until I planned to tell you how much I love that you are willing to suspend disbelief and try to see the possibilities in these colors and blocks that I do.

The irony of how I had come to this new realization and appreciation for you all this month and wanted to blog about it … just when my block/color choice clearly missed the mark is not lost on me.  Very few blocks were made this month and almost half of them were donated.

It would have felt odd and a bit egocentric, I think, had I posted about how I love that you suspend disbelief, sometimes, and follow along … during a month when few are actually following along 😉   And so, here I am telling you about how the universe (and you) put me in my place with your disinterest.

If my life were not such a struggle right now, I would find the time to work on my sampler so, perhaps, you could see what I see in the possibilities for this year’s blocks.

Perhaps interest will continue to decline and this will be the last for the Block Lotto. Almost 14 years later, it certainly has lasted longer than I ever anticipated.



  1. I donated the blocks because I won last month. I love the choices you have made and am making extra every month so I can make a sampler block at the end of this year. I appreciate all you have done for us, even with your busy work and volunteer life. I would be so sorry if this was the last year!

  2. Hi Sophie, I Don’t initially love every choice of colour you come up with, or pattern you choose but, Sophie I do Love the experience you provide me to learn and to grow confidence in my own creativity. If you think for even half a heartbeat that you don’t inspire others every month then you are wrong! Block Lotto – YOU, will advance Quilting…Traditional and Modern methods…by the seeds you sew…the information you share and of course your organization of it all. Cripes Sophie! I couldn’t even use a machine 2 1/2 years ago! Or for that matter, understand or follow quilt patterns…The language of cutting mats and rotary cutters and rulers was one huge mystery to me…I share my blocks and your site with others who like me are very interested. There are brains out here searching out , investigating and creating Modern designs Brains that you have inspired! Last week at our annual dinner for Bee’s Knees- I got a mention for the Modern- Charity quilt I designed and donated…”Fracking”- The mean age of our body of ladies is mid 60’s…These ladies are interested and curious. This past winter has been a corker for me…I have lost dear friends and had eye issues, my son has been hospitalized multiple times…I was also determined to finish my Star Chain quilt top so I haven’t been participating monthly but, I always check out what is happening on Block Lotto and have a block from each month …(not all in your suggested colour and that’s all right because this quilt will also be part of me), done up waiting to go into the year end sampler…Can I imagine where you are going with this? NO, not yet however, I do know it will all work out and I have learned new techniques and I am still sewing! T hank You Sophie for what you do…Block Lotto is a terrific site. I hope you can continue to be an encourager and inspiration to us all.

  3. sophie block lotto is alive and well! It is our respective lives that are messed up! Speaking personally, our decisions to play or donate is mostly due to a sense of fair play: if we’ve won recently and have a stack of UF Os we want to keep learning but let others have a chance. And it’s also kind of a weird bargain sometimes with the the Lotto gods: if I donate this month then in the future if I really want to win, I will be “favored”! Lol!

  4. I try to make blocks every month no matter what they look like, if they appeal to me or the color scheme but it seems this month got away from me. I’m trying to finish up UFOs, put in the garden, and work has been crazy busy. And, I’ve been trying to get a lot of things done because I’m going on a trip to FL next week for my dad’s 85th birthday.

    I love Block Lotto and appreciate all you do! Thanks!

    Good luck with guilds of any kind. I’m not a guild joiner for a variety of reasons.

  5. I do so love to make each and every one of the blocks you’ve come up for us to do, Sohpie!

    I often donate my blocks as I am trying to be realistic and see how my stack of block collections and UFOs hasn’t seemed to grow smaller but the years I’ve added to my age keeps getting larger! Am trying SO HARD to GET STUFF MADE UP and so several times I knew I wouldn’t get whatever done and so wanted to pass on winning something that would end up “just sitting”. If I can see a possible giftie quilt from any of the months’s blocks that I could or can finish, I put in for the drawing. Elsewise, figure the more the merrier for those who ARE winners and I donate. I’m not sure I ever made “just 1 block” as by the time I get out the required fab combos, I usually have more than 1 on the table and “can”t make just 1” —

    I do hope this project continues on ad infinitum! I’ve learned so much and have enjoyed the incentive and guidance to try new things. I cna do traditional just fine but love the challeng to break out of my mold! (did I spell that right? G!)

    anyway, onward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Karen B

  6. Sophie, I don’t think the number of participants or donated blocks means what you think it means. May is the final month of school in many places, and I know all of my friends with children have been busy with SO many activities, no matter what the age of their children. In addition, it’s the warming season, and you know gardens are taking a huge amount of time for a lot of quilters. There are myriad other reasons why people may not have made blocks. I think I’ve only participated once so far this year, and that has more to do with my own miseries than anything you can influence. I like the variety of blocks, the colors I wouldn’t normally try, the styles I wouldn’t normally try, and every aspect of Block Lotto. Even if I don’t get to participate, I have something new to think about. I believe you can go on thinking of this group as willing and eager to try anything, and not worry about whether everything suits everyone. We are not the same as your guild. =) Block Lotto is still attracting new members, and I think that means it’s still appropriate to quilters.

  7. Honestly, all of you. I don’t necessarily see the lack of blocks this month as any kind of sign, except, perhaps as part of a trend overall for the year … I can’t help it if it feels a little like the second year of the block lotto when–by the time we got to November–the only person who made a lotto block was me. It really was just the IRONY that when I have this great epiphany and new appreciation for YOUR willingness to try the blocks I come up with that we have a slump of a month (and half the blocks made are donated!).

  8. I have learned so much from Block Lotto and would really miss it. It’s really pulled me out of my comfort zone to try new techniques. Thank you for all you do for us!

  9. I didn’t make blocks this month only because I was out of town for two weeks.

    • Laura, I don’t expect anyone to make blocks every month … it was just an odd coincidence that just when I was feeling chuffed about how many DO continue to make blocks, it ends up being a month with fewer blocks.

  10. My life has been in a terrible flux since January. I have not been able to just sit down and sew anything which depresses me. I look forward to the time I can actively rejoin the group. In the mean time, Block lotto is my lifeline and I do read the blogs, save the patterns and follow along in this way. The members in our group are my “virtual guild” since I too am not a joiner of local quilt guilds for much of the same reasons others have mentioned. Don’t get discouraged things ebb and flow in life. The block lotto is a raging success!

    • I’m not chastising anyone for not participating, Pat, it really was just an odd coincidence that when I realize how lucky I am to have found a group of courageous quilters … it’s during a less than popular month.

      • I didn’t feel chastised at all. I just wanted you to know how important Block Lotto is to me. You have done such a great job of maintaining and inspiring our group and I hope we all continue together for a good long time.
        Well dang! Blue is my favorite and dominate color…..maybe I’ll get out some fabric 8)

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